14th Oct2016

West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 10/14/16

by Will

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10th Jun2016

West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 6/10/16

by Will

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The only movie I watched this week was the world premiere of You’re F#@k’n Dead. Written and directed by my good friend, Jay Spence, it’s an homage to grindhouse cinema, with a hint of the supernatural. It follows brash Lexi, and her naive sister, Beth, as they end up in a strange town that isn’t quite what it seems. When they find out the true nature of the town, they find themselves in a fight for their lives. The film premiered Sunday night as the closing headliner at the DC International Fantastic Film Showcase at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Though I was a fan of Death Proof, I’d generally say this wouldn’t normally be my type of movie. That said, I really enjoyed it. It was great to see the fruition of my friend’s 4 years of hard work, and I’m really impressed by the finished product. It will be on DVD/Blu-Ray soon, but here’s the red band trailer, and if you want to know more, check out youredeadthemovie.com.

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In TV news, the former “Can You Hear Me Now?” Verizon Guy now works for Sprint. Huh. I guess some people might see this as a “heel turn”, but I couldn’t care less. I’ve got this weird thing where commercials don’t work on me. Like, if I see a commercial for something, it doesn’t make me want that item. Hell, commercials barely even register with me unless someone points one out to me. So, it’s odd to me that Sprint thinks getting this relic of a pitchman on their side is going to translate into people defecting from Verizon. I mean, if I remember correctly, people hated that guy ’cause he was annoying. If anything, I feel like this would drive more customers to Verizon from Sprint. But what do I know?

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There was also a lot of news in the world of DC Entertainment television. First off, it was announced that Superman would be appearing in season 2 of Supergirl, and casting is underway. A lot of folks are lobbying for Smallville‘s Tom Welling to get the part, but I really don’t want that to happen. I know Smallville had its fans, and it lasted 10 years, but I don’t think its quality is on par with the current Berlantiverse shows, so I’d rather forget it than have some unofficial link to it. Plus, I feel like Welling left the role before he could fall victim to the Superman Curse. He probably avoided it because he never put on the suit. Anyway, Superman will be joined by other DC characters, such as Snapper Carr and Detective Maggie Sawyer. Meanwhile, it’s rumored that Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant might be bumped to recurring character status.

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Meanwhile, it was reported that Legends of Tomorrow would be adding Vixen to the cast next season, but there’s a catch – it won’t be the same character that has been portrayed by Megalyn Echikunwoke on both Arrow and the Vixen animated series. Mari McCabe is a Detroit hero who derives her powers from an animal totem. So, it appears this new character will be a Vixen, but not the Vixen, as Echikunwoke will still be voicing her version of the character in the animated series (her film commitments are keeping her from joining Legends of Tomorrow). I’m not usually one to bark up this tree, but I hope the new Vixen is also a person of color. I mean, we have so few heroes, it’d kinda suck to lose one. Plus, with the departure of Hawkgirl, the team could use the diversity in the form of a woman of color. The character was popular, with some folks saying she deserves her own show, but I say “hold onto your horses” on that one. Let’s let the character grow and develop before putting that weight on her shoulders.

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We also got our first look at character designs for Justice League Action, the new DC animated series coming to Cartoon Network. Based on a presentation at the Kre8tif Conference in Malaysia, the show will include characters like Firestorm, Mr. Terrific, Lobo, Blue Beetle, Big Barda, and Harley Quinn (back in her jester costume). Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are coming back, so I guess reports of their retirement had been premature. I don’t love the character designs, but it’s clear this show is geared towards the younger set. The show will consist of 11-minute episodes, like most current Cartoon Network shows, and no premiere date has been announced yet.

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In video game and toy news, the sets for LEGO Dimensions Year 2 were revealed, and they are amazing. LEGO Mr. T!!! Not only will there be an A-Team set, but there will also be sets for The LEGO Batman Movie, Sonic The Hedgehog, Knight Rider (!), The Goonies, Mission Impossible and more. I will most definitely be getting the A-Team and Knight Rider sets.

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows underperformed over the weekend, only taking in $35 million, despite positive word of mouth
  • John Boyega has been cast as the lead in Pacific Rim 2, which will be directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil on Netflix)
  • The Injustice 2 video game was announced for a 2017 release. I love the first one, even though I’m not that good at it.

    • Comedy Central announced that Rob Lowe would be the guest at their next roast. Look for a lot of jokes about his sex tape with that underage girl. Oh, you didn’t know about that?
    • It was reported that Mel Gibson is working on a sequel to The Passion of the Christ. The timing is perfect, as Jim Caviezel is gonna need work soon.
    • My pal, Chris Piers, got DRUNK X-Amining the comic tropes of Chris Claremont’s X-Men run. If you’re an X-Men fan, this is a MUST WATCH!

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I’d have to say that Awesome Con stole the week. Kicking off last Friday, the show set up at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC, and ran through Sunday. I decided to check it out with my good pal Classick Materia of CSPN Media. We had a great time walking up and down aisles, meeting our favorite comic creators, and chowing down on convention center burrito bowls. Most of the experience was covered on the latest episode of the Classick Team-Up Podcast, so be sure to check that out. Still, there were a few things that didn’t make it into the podcast.

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Classick and I got split up at one point, and I found myself at the Aftershock Comics table in front of writer Paul Jenkins. If you’re not familiar with him, he wrote Wolverine: Origin back in 2001 that finally revealed the character’s history. He also co-created Marvel character The Sentry. Anyway, as I walked up to his table, he was scanning the side of a juice box with his phone. He noticed me, and immediately went into infomercial mode, telling me about this great new app that’s been helping him lose weight. Turns out it was My Fitness Pal, which I’ve already been using for the past 6 months. I told him this, but he glossed right over it, as he demonstrated how easy it was to simply scan the barcode and have the app input all of the nutritional information. He told me that he’d cut out sugar and bread, and that the weight was just falling off. He said that it’s not just about what you eat, but also when you eat it. He was like a born again Christian with this thing! We never even talked about his comics. He signed my copy of Replica that I had coincidentally purchased from a dollar box earlier in the day, and sent me on my way. Great guy, but such an odd experience.

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Next up, I met Tom King, who’s currently writing The Sheriff of Babylon, as well as starting on the Batman title. As I went up to his table, I told him that I was a big fan, and he said that he recognized me. I didn’t think we had met, but then remembered I had met him at NYCC last year. Still, there’s no way he remembered me, and I’m sure he says this to all the boys. Anyway, the con had been selling an exclusive cover of Batman: Rebirth #1, but it was the same cover as the normal book, only it had “Awesome Con” on it – for TWENTY dollars. Fuck that noise! I went back to the Big Planet Comics booth, and picked up a copy of the regular edition for $3. I promptly went back over to King, and had him sign it. I also told him that I enjoy The Sheriff of Babylon although I have no clue what the Hell is going on. Like, the characters are interesting and compelling, but I’m totally lost on the plot. I mean, I couldn’t even really explain it to you, except for the fact that it’s set in post-Saddam Iraq. He laughed and said that he had just been thinking about possibly including a recap in an upcoming issue, just to make sure everyone was on the same page with the story. I told him I was looking forward to his Batman run, and went on my way. Really nice guy!

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While walking around, Classick and I started talking about Doctor Who, trying to figure out what the appeal is about that franchise. He said that it was the scarves. I said it was the dildos. Sure, they may call it a “sonic screwdriver”, but I wasn’t born yesterday! That’s a fancy space dildo. So, as we laughed about this, an idea hatched in my head. I’d like to introduce you to my new Tumblr, Scarves and Dildos: The Magical World of Doctor Who.

Anyway, for more tales of our time at the con, check out the podcast. In any case, I think the show set the tone for the week, and that’s why Awesome Con had the West Week Ever.

17th Dec2015

West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 12/17/15

by Will

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Your weekly dose of pop culture is coming at ya a day early this week, since I know a lot of you are getting offline this evening so you don’t run into any Star Wars spoilers. Tomorrow’s probably gonna be a ghost town on here, so I thought I’d get the post in early this week. But I promise there are NO Star Wars spoilers below!

DopeThis week, I checked out the film Dope. I’d heard good things about the movie, but I don’t get to the theater too much, so I was gonna wait until it came out on Redbox or something. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, it’s kinda like a Black version of the 1999 film Go. Now, don’t ask me how to explain how I got to that comparison, but I think it’s apt. It’s about high school senior Malcolm and his best friends as they get wrapped up in a messy situation with some drugs. It’s about so much more than that, though. On the heels of the “blerd” movement, it deals a lot with identity and what it means to not be “Black enough”. Malcolm and his friends are in a punk band called Awreeoh (pronounced Oreo), and they idolize 90s hip hop culture. They don’t really fit in with the rest of the kids their age, so they’ve kinda bonded over being outsiders. It’s really fast paced, and doesn’t follow standard chronology. I really enjoyed it, and I think you should check it out if you get the chance.

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Since everyone knows that Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out this week, I figured I should get acquainted with the work of star John Boyega. For years, I’d been hearing about how great Attack the Block was, so it was finally time for me to check it out. The biggest problem was that I couldn’t really find it streaming anywhere, so I had to resort to…alternative means. Anyway, Boyega stars as the leader of a teenage gang that has set up shop in the projects of South London. One celebratory night, the neighborhood becomes the site of an alien invasion. Once Boyega’s character kills one of the aliens, he and his friends become targets for the rest of the aliens that have landed. While it’s comedic sci fi, it’s got some horror aspects to it. Part of it feels like a Black Goonies (nobody steal that idea!), but there’s also another story being told about the socioeconomic state of a lot of London youth. When the gang teams up with the White woman they had mugged earlier in the movie, they’re shocked to learn that she lives in their building. There’s quite a notion of “Why do YOU live HERE?” Boyega’s slow to boil, but once he gets going, he’s a commanding presence and a good leader. The version I was watching had subtitles turned on, and boy was I glad because it was hard keeping up with the slang AND the accents. Still, it’s a really good movie that I highly recommend.

star trek beyond

The Star Trek Beyond teaser trailer was released this week and, while NuTrek has given us some decent action movies, it has never really understood that that is NOT what Star Trek is about. I understand that it’s just a teaser, but you have to remember that this is *marketing* and, at the moment, they’re marketing it as a high adrenaline Fast and the Furious in Space action movie. That’s not what Star Trek is. Even if that movie turns out to be a completely different animal, the way they’re portraying it is not something a typical Star Trek fan would gravitate towards. That’s been my biggest issue with NuTrek – it acts like it’s ashamed of its own built-in fanbase. Instead of realizing the nice, pretty girl in front of it, it longs for the mega hot cheerleader who has to be tricked into dating it. If you want some Star Trek goodness that won’t disappoint, check out the Deep Space Nine drill down over on this week’s episode of the Nerd Lunch Podcast.

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Speaking of space movies, the trailer was released for Independence Day: Resurgence, and it looks good. In fact, I’m probably more intrigued by it than I was for Star Trek Beyond. Everyone’s back except Will Smith and Mae Whitman. At least Whitman’s character still exists (they recast her, with some folks assuming the studio was looking for a more “conventionally pretty” actress. Not my words!), while Smith’s Colonel Hiller was killed off on a website. Seriously, if you go to http://www.warof1996.com, which is the official viral site for the movie, there’s an entry on the interactive timeline that reveals Hiller was killed in 2007 while test piloting one of the new alien hybrid ships. Seeing how there probably wasn’t a body, I guess Smith could still come back in a third movie. “Look, he was actually teleported to the mothership before the explosion!” But I don’t know if that would work in the world already established by the rest of the franchise.

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In other movie news, toymaker Hasbro has announced a deal with Paramount to create a shared cinematic universe with their some of their biggest properties from the 80s, including G.I. Joe, ROM, M.A.S.K., Visionairies, and Micronauts. I really don’t know how this is going to work. On the one hand, I could see Joe and M.A.S.K. working together, and I could see ROM and Micronauts working together. But all under the same umbrella, in the same universe? I dunno, man. Everybody’s in love with the idea of the “shared cinematic universe”, but very few understand just how hard it is to pull off. Marvel’s never should’ve worked, and it should be seen as the exception rather than the norm. Sure, this will probably mean more toys for beloved properties, and I’m sure the folks over at IDW Publishing (the comics license holder for most Hasbro properties) are experiencing raging boners over this news, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

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There’s a rumor that James Gunn is looking at Kurt Russell to play Star-Lord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Right now, though, it’s just a rumor, so nothing to see here…

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Across the aisle, we got new character posters for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. They’re decent, but they’re not exactly “taking me from 6 to 12”, if you know what I mean…

Meanwhile, the trailer for something called Knight Rider Heroes surfaced this week, and nobody knows what it is. Based on the URL of http://www.KnightRiderHeroesMovie.com, it appears to be a movie, but it looks more like it’s on the fan film side of things. To its credit, they got Hasselhoff involved, but that dude will pretty much do anything. It’s equal parts cool AND depressing to see Michael Knight 30 years removed from the original series. He’s still wearing that belt and that jacket? He just looks like an out of fashion old man. At least when he showed up in Knight Rider (2008), his look had been modernized somewhat. This dude, however, just looks like a man out of time. Like he’s just been wearing the same thing, and driving the same car since 1986. And if this movie revolves around assembling a team of Knight Riders, it’s already been done. It was called Team Knight Rider, and it desperately needs a DVD release!

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Finally for movies, the first official image was released for Ghostbusters. I know folks hate the idea of this film, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s got a cast filled with folks that I love, and the original GB isn’t this sacred cow to me that it is for a lot of folks. If you ask me, this movie can’t get here fast enough. Definitely one of my most anticipated of 2016.

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In the world of comics, Marvel officially announced Civil War II. Piggybacking off the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie, nothing’s really known about this miniseries at the moment. The creative team has been revealed as Brian Michael Bendis writing, with David Marquez on the art. While I’m enjoying their current run on Invincible Iron Man, I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Bendis yet. He’s usually capable with these events, but I just hate to see them going back to the Civil War well, especially so soon after their “soft reboot”. I mean, the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe is still being solidified, and we’re already about to enter another “Whose Side Are You On?” situation? The timing just doesn’t seem right, other than the fact that Marvel’s got a movie with that name coming out at the same time, that loosely appears to deal with a Superhuman Registration Act. This has “cash grab” written all over it, but maybe it’ll sound more interesting once more details are revealed.

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In the world of TV, CBS has reportedly canceled Mike & Molly following the upcoming 6th season. It’s a bit sad, as I actually enjoy that show, as schizophrenic as it can be. Seriously, the show is only 6 years old, but has changed direction about 3 times. The first 2 seasons are about a couple that meets in Overeaters Anonymous and fall in love while trying to lose weight. The third season is about their quest to have a baby, and the weight loss journey goes out the window. In the fourth season, Molly quits her job and decides to become a writer, and the show kinda pushes Billy Gardell’s Mike into the background as Melissa McCarthy’s star was on the rise. To be honest, I’m surprised she’s still on a network show, seeing as how her movie career is doing well. She’s said to be heartbroken over the end of the show, however, as no one can really explain why CBS decided to pull the plug. It seems that everyone except Gardell had six-year deals, and CBS isn’t really open to discussions about another season (mainly because they don’t own the show), so Warner Bros (the producing studio) doesn’t want to renew deals with cast members. Now, CBS could just be waiting til the last minute to renew, but it could possibly hurt its relationship with Chuck Lorre, who’s been the force behind CBS’s most popular sitcoms. Anyway, the show made it to syndication, which is “the dream”, but it would’ve been nice if was getting a proper sendoff.


In the world of music, my favorite Spice Girl, Melanie C (“Sporty Spice”), stopped by BBC Radio to perform a stripped down version of one of the best songs off the SpiceWorld album: “Too Much”. Click above to check it out.

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Meanwhile in America, Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the first album to sell 30 million copies in the US, making it 30x Platinum. To put that in perspective, that’s like if everyone in the state of Texas owned a copy. EVERYONE. Even the babies. And a couple of copies for some of the superfans. That is INSANE!

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Who are we kidding here? I’m not gonna insult your intelligence by pretending that Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t having the West Week Ever. The thing isn’t even officially in theaters yet (at least for the general public), but it stands to be one of the biggest releases EVER. I promised no spoilers, and I stand by that. Plus, I won’t even be seeing the movie until Saturday morning, so I couldn’t spoil it if I wanted to. Still, nothing came close to Star Wars this week, as the franchise was popping up everywhere from car commercials to bags of oranges. The early reviews are in, and it’s 95% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. For the folks who ignore the existence of the prequels, this movie was 30 years in the making and has a lot to prove. I’m not worried, though, as I think it’ll be great. So, for probably breaking every release record known to man, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had the West Week Ever.

23rd Oct2015

West Week Ever – 10/23/15

by Will

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When Mr. Robot debuted, many critics had the same question: “Why is this show on USA?” It’s not just that the show was good, but it also didn’t tonally fit with USA’s other offerings. Well, that’s how I feel about Satisfaction. I’ve written about the show in the past, but in case you forgot, here’s the gist: When Neil Truman discovers that his wife has been paying a male escort for sex, he becomes a male escort himself to get a better understanding as to why she sought one out. The show debuted last year, along with drama Rush, and it was the lone survivor of the pair. The second season premiered last Friday, and in an interesting move, USA released the entire season online and on demand Saturday morning. So, I spent most of my free time this week burning through the new season.

At its core, Satisfaction is more of a Fox show, with more sexual content than you can get away with on that network. If anything, it probably belongs on FX, as it’s the spiritual cousin of Nip/Tuck. It’s a sudsy primetime soap, with morally ambiguous characters and gratuitous butt shots. Over the course of the season, Neil and wife Grace discover that their infidelities may have actually made their marriage stronger. The season deals with them trying to find their way back to each other. They know they can’t really go back to their old lives, so they try to figure out where they’re going. There’s so much going on this season, though, that I don’t even want to get into all of it. If you’re curious, just watch the show. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I HIGHLY recommend this show. The season is a bit bittersweet, however, as I really don’t know if there’ll be a third season. When NBC released all of Aquarius online, it actually worked in that show’s favor, but part of me feels like this is a burn-off for Satisfaction. The season finale is a fitting way to end, should it turn out to be the end of the series, but it definitely sets up an interesting landscape for season 3. Luckily, the story editor for the show is the husband of a college friend. So, if it gets cancelled, I’m just going to try to find out what they would have done had it been renewed.

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On TV, I also checked out Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo. I’m a Schumer fan, so I expected big things. I was kinda disappointed, though. Clocking in at an hour, it felt like warm-up material. I don’t feel like she really found her groove until just before the special ended. Apparently there’s an extended version airing on October 30th, so maybe that one will be better? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

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Another thing I watched this week was the movie Frozen. No, not the Disney film. This 2010 thriller stars X-Men‘s Iceman, Shawn Ashmore, and centers around 3 people who find themselves stuck on a chair lift at a ski resort. It’s not the kind of movie that I’d ever watch on my own, plus I’d never even heard of it before, but it was recommended by my good buddy Mike. When 3 college kids sneak their way onto a ski run, they get more than they bargained for when the resort closes while they’re still on the lift. Then, they have to deal with the height, the cold, wolves, and more as they struggle to survive. On paper, you really wouldn’t see how they get a whole movie out of that, but it works. And as Mike and I discussed, it’s the PERFECT length at about 90 minutes. Apparently when the film screened at the Sundance Film Festival, it caused multiple faintings from all the tension. I don’t know about all that, but it’s definitely a movie that keeps you engaged the entire time. The whole thing is on YouTube, so check it out if you’re curious.

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Also, I checked out a new webseries called Surviving, from actress/writer/producer Reagan Gomez-Preston. Remember that show on The WB called The Parent ‘Hood? Starred Robert Townsend? She played the daughter on that. Oh, and she was the voice of Roberta on The Cleveland Show. Anyway, she now creates webseries that are partially crowdfunded, and I just happened to stumble upon the second episode. I enjoyed it enough that I went back and watched the first. Basically, it’s an “urban” version of The Walking Dead – which is actually needed, seeing as how that show treats its Black characters not named “Michonne”. It’s too soon to really tell what’s happening, but I like what I see. Generally, I hate fan film/webseries stuff, but this looks really professional, and I’m really eager to see where it goes. New episodes come out weekly, and Reagan’s currently seeking funding for season 2.

Supergirl

I’ve made a decision, and I think it might be an unpopular one: I don’t think I’m going to watch Supergirl. As its Monday premiere gets closer, I realize that I really just don’t care. As comic fans, we’re expected to clamor for all of this stuff, even when it’s not necessarily our cup of tea. Gotham didn’t do it for me, and I bailed. I don’t think I even wanna hop on the Kara train. I love what Greg Berlanti does for DC properties on television, but there’s already so much TV to watch. I think the main clincher for me, though, was that contrary to early reports, this show will not be connected to the Berlantiverse (Arrow/The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow/Vixen) established on CBS’s sister network, The CW. I just don’t have the patience or the capacity for another mythology and another universe. I know I’m not even giving it a chance, but I just don’t think I can get on that horse. I hope Supergirl‘s successful, and I hope it acquires legions of fans. I’m just tired, man. I can’t keep doing this, and I’ve got to know my limits.


And now I’ll look like a hypocrite because I’m excited for the November 20th debut of Jessica Jones on Netflix. The trailer above was just released this morning, and it looks really good. It looks like they’re focusing on the final arc of the Alias series, called “Purple”, where we learn about Jessica’s past as a hero, and her downfall at the hands of The Purple Man. Here’s what sets Jessica Jones apart from Supergirl: I have loved the Jessica Jones character since the first issue of Alias back in 2001. I’ve got no real love for Supergirl, but I’ve bought every comic that Jessica has appeared in. She was my Miles Morales before there was a Miles Morales. In fact, a part of me feels some kinda way about all the Johnny Come Latelies who are just discovering her now. Hell, if there was this much attention on her 10 years ago, her series might still be running, instead of her just appearing as a background character in Avengers stories. Plus, I kinda miss Alias Jessica. She was rough around the edges and not very entrenched in the “cape world”. While she’s had a full character arc, and has matured, I still miss the alcoholic, loner, “Mature Readers” Jess that we met when she was introduced. Oh well, the trailer looks great, and Krysten Ritter seems to have captured the tone of the character, so I’m there for this.

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In other TV news, there’s a Cruel Intentions television series in the works. Again. A lot of folks don’t realize this, but there was already a Cruel Intentions television show in development back in 1999. Originally called Manchester Prep, it was meant to serve as a prequel to the movie. Fox, however, cancelled it before it even aired, so the 3 completed episodes were released to video as Cruel Intentions 2. Now, NBC seems to think this is an idea worth revisiting. Does anyone even remember Cruel Intentions? It has basically one claim to pop culture fame: the kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair. Anyway, this television series would be a sequel, as it would focus on the son of Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon’s characters.

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At the other end of the television spectrum, it was announced that Mythbusters is ending after 14 years. I know the “I Fucking Love Science” bunch have always liked that show, but I’ve probably seen, maybe, 2 episodes of it. I don’t know, but I like to think there’s a little magic to the world. I don’t want my myths busted. To me, what they do is akin to spoiling a magic trick. Sure, I watched the superhero episode, and the one where they tested whether or not you could actually “Knight Rider” a moving car into a moving semi; I’m not a monster! But I just never really dug what they were doing. I dunno. Call me crazy. Anyway, the writing’s been on the wall for some time, especially when they cut the hot chick, the Asian dude, and that other guy due to financial reasons last year. I think it’s still a respected brand, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Mythbusters specials still popped up in the future.

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Speaking of losing money on shows, it was reported that Yahoo! lost $42 million on their failed Yahoo! Screen experiment. Basically created to showcase the newly-acquired Community, the service also featured other original programs like Sin City Saints and Other Space. I LOVED Other Space, so it saddens me that we’re probably not getting a second season. It was clearly cheap to produce, and it was created by Paul Feig – who everyone loves for Bridesmaids and Spy. Anyway, it seems like Yahoo! is exiting the original show-length content world for the time being, as they just couldn’t figure out how to make any money off of the venture.

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In reality television, it’s been announced that Simon Cowell will be joining America’s Got Talent next season. I’ve missed Simon on American television. Sure, he tried and failed to bring The X-Factor over here, but I’ve always loved his honesty. Plus, unlike a lot of these judges on these shows, he’s actually a starmaker. He knows his shit. The Voice may be the most popular competition show on television, but I will never stop pointing out that it has yet to produce a single STAR. Simon by himself has created and nurtured stars, so I’d be interested to see what he brings to the show.

The trailer was released for Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None, and it looks like a mumblecore movie. I’ve often said that I’m not a fan of Aziz 2.0, as his whole thing now is “I’m a relationship guru for the digital age!”, but I’ll check this out. At its worst, it just looks like his version of Louie or Maron, and there are worse templates to steal.

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In movie news, Dacre Montgomery has been cast as the Red Ranger for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie. I know nothing about this kid, and that’s probably how they want it. Unknowns bring no baggage to the role. Still, I’m not sure I’m down with his look. From a Power Rangers standpoint, he looks more like a Billy than a Jason. Anyway, I’m really starting to wonder if they’re gonna mimic the whole ethnicity joke from the original series: is the Black Ranger going to be a Black actor? How about the Yellow Ranger? Surely Saban has learned from that experience, right? RIGHT?

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UPDATE: About 30 minutes after I wrote that, the official Power Rangers account announced that Ludi Lin will be playing the Black Ranger. So, Asian guy got that slot. Guess Saban DID learn from the past. That means we either get a Black guy Blue Ranger, or a Black girl Yellow Ranger.

Links I Loved

JJ Abrams Wants to Kill Your Dad – UnderScoopFire!

Reused Sci-Fi Costumes – The Robot’s Pajamas

Is Playboy Stigmatizing Nudity By No Longer Celebrating It In Its Pages? – UPROXX

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The official poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, quickly followed by the final trailer. And the Internet WENT CRAZY! People were tweeting about the boners they were getting from watching the trailer, while the nefarious #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag started trending as a couple of trolls tried to say that the movie promoted anti-White genocide. Whatever. I hope John Boyega and Daisy Ridley have a bunch of little Force-sensitive mulatto babies to really piss those folks off! Anyway, the trailer was released during, of all places, Monday Night Football, and Fandango subsequently crashed as tickets sales opened up for the movie. What did I think? Well, I like Boyega’s blue laser sword, and it was cool to see Han Skywalker again (I wonder how many heads exploded after reading that sentence). All kidding aside, it looks really cool, and I look forward to seeing it. Probably not opening day, ’cause I didn’t try to get tickets, nor do I wanna deal with those “opening day” people. Star Wars was all anyone could talk about this week. That is, until…

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Wednesday was Back to the Future Day, as we finally saw the date referenced in Back to the Future II. The subject of many an Internet hoax, the wrong date has been surfacing online every few months for years, but the TRUE date was October 21st, 2015. To commemorate the occasion, Pepsi released a limited quantity of Pepsi Perfect in the same bottle as seen in the movie, Nike released self-lacing shoes, and USA Today reprinted the same front page and logo as seen in the film. The city of Reston, Virginia became Hilldale for the day. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reprised on their roles on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In all, it was a day of celebration for everyone, and it will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. That’s right – from Wednesday on, the Back to the Future franchise now entirely takes place in the past. Breathe in that mortality, and smell the oncoming death. We’re all getting old, folks. Everything we love is getting old with us. But that’s not a bad thing, as they don’t make movies and TV like they used to – even though they keep remaking those things, trying to recapture the magic. In any case, for teaching us the “Power of Love”, and for being a historic day that will never occur again, Back to the Future Day had the West Week Ever.

15th Aug2014

Reboot That Bitch: Three’s Company

by Will

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When I wrote my first Reboot That Bitch post on The Fall Guy, I never really expected it to become an ongoing thing. Sure, I’ve had ideas here and there, but nothing that really stuck. Over time, however, it has become one of my most popular posts. Then, the other day, it hit me – why not try to recast one of my favorite shows of all time, Three’s Company? The Fall Guy post was a labor of love, as that show meant a lot to me as a kid, and this is no different, as Three’s Company holds a special place in my heart.

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If by some chance you’ve never seen it, Three’s Company was an 8-season farcical sitcom based on the British show, Man About The House. Starring John Ritter, Suzanne Somers, and Joyce Dewitt, it followed the crazy misunderstandings that arose from the living arrangement of the 3 roommates. Since it was taboo for a man to be living with 2 women, the group came up with the explanation that Jack was gay so that the landlord would be OK with him living there. Of course Jack wasn’t gay, so half of the misadventures have to do with hiding that fact from the landlord. Sometimes their neighbor, “Crazy Larry” Dallas, got in on the action, too. I used to watch this show multiple times a day, eagerly waiting for them to get to the seasons with Terry (she was my favorite roommate). I even loved the spinoffs, The Ropers and Three’s A Crowd. While the franchise gets written off today, it was kind of a flagbearer for sexual politics. Three’s Company dealt with two taboos, as there was a man living with women to whom he was not married AND he was (supposedly) gay! Three’s A Crowd carried that further dealing with an unmarried cohabitating couple. I’m not sure if these opened any doors for anyone, but they were definitely dealing with topics that hadn’t been seen on television at the time.

Plot

We’d keep it the same, but we’d throw out the gay aspect. It isn’t so taboo anymore, so there’s no real place for it. The sad part about doing that is that it loses its sexual politics edge, but it may not need it anymore. Like most shows these days, it’d be a show about nothing. If you really dig down, though, the controversy is that you have a guy knocking on the door of 40, who really needs to get his life together. He finds the motivation in the unlikeliest place, which is with these two girls. They help him have fun, while he shares some of his wisdom with them. Oh, and he’s constantly hitting on them, even though he knows their situation needs to remain platonic.

 

Setting

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I see no reason to move the setting from Santa Monica, CA. I like the proximity to the beach, which lends itself to attractive extras and guest stars. Also, in this version, Jack likes to surf, so he’ll need to be near the waves. I’d like the beach to be featured more than we got in the original show, otherwise it’s almost like the locale is being wasted.

The Regal Beagle is just “The Beagle” now, and it’s a sports bar. A lot of the action will be split between here and the apartment, just like the original series.

As for format, I think I’d like to try this as a multicamera sitcom, just like the original. I know it’s a dying format, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and some of the jokes may require canned laughter. After all, we’re not dealing with Shakespeare here, and I’m a strong believer that sometimes the audience needs to be told when to laugh. This means it’ll probably end up on CBS, as they’re the only ones keeping the multicam format alive these days.

Casting

Jack Tripper – Nat Faxon

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At 39, I think Faxon is in a good place to play Jack as I see him now. He’s a guy who doesn’t really want to grow up, so he’s hanging out with these young girls trying to preserve his youth. He’s still going to cooking school, and hopes to one day open his own restaurant. Part of me doesn’t really like Nat Faxon; something about his teeth bothers me. At the same time, I find myself catching a John Ritter vibe off of him every now and then, and that makes me like him. In the original show, Jack was closer in age to Janet and Chrissy, but I don’t think that has to be the case this time around.

Christmas “Chrissy” Snow – Beth Behrs

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Let’s face it – 2 Broke Girls‘ ratings aren’t stellar, and Kat Dennings is probably going to want to get back to movies soon. I think Beth Behrs would be a great Chrissy, as she’s got the beautiful blonde thing going, and she doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist. The funny thing about 2 Broke Girls is that Behrs’s character is supposed to be the smart one, but instead she’s usually the dumb rich girl. That persona would be perfect here, though Behrs might be scared of being typecast in the industry. In the original, Chrissy was the innocent daughter of a preacher who had left her small town to live in Santa Monica, and we’d keep most of that. In this reboot, she and Janet were best friends in college, and that friendship is going strong after 10 years.

Janet Wood – Krysten Ritter

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The problem with Janet is that she was used as the straight woman for a lot of the jokes, and it left her without a personality. There’s a reason the show was colloquially known as “Jack & Chrissy”. Janet wasn’t unattractive, but she was no Chrissy. She wasn’t unfunny, but she was no Jack. So, she was just left being The Other One. I wanna switch things up, and give Janet a personality. Since Behrs’s Chrissy is going to be the fun, bubbly one, I figured I’d go in the opposite direction with Janet, making her the bitch with a heart of gold. Nobody plays that character better than Krysten Ritter. For proof, check out Don’t Trust The B- In Apartment 23 or her stint on Breaking Bad. She puts up a snarky wall, but there’s emotion there when she chooses to let you in. When we start to see that, we’ll begin to understand how these completely opposite women could have been friends for the past 10 years.

Larry Dallas – John Larroquette

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At 66, Larroquette’s in an interesting place. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Dan Fielding, the character he played on Night Court, this would just be a continuation of that character. He’s a sleazy attorney who likes his women young. Expect a PARADE of gorgeous women streaming in and out of his apartment.  He’d be the kind of guy knee-deep in the Pick Up Artist community. He sees himself as something of a mentor to Jack, and is a good source for cheap laughs. Think Viagra jokes and the like.

Helen and Stanley Roper – Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp

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I wasn’t sure that I even wanted the landlords in this reboot, but they’re needed for the comedy. Remember when Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad reunited as a married couple in CBS’s Cosby, only this time they were poor? This would be kinda like that, as I’m a sucker for cast reunions. When you think about it, Kurtwood Smith did a pretty great Mr. Roper as Red Forman, and Debra Jo Rupp just needs to make Kitty a tad more sex-crazed, and she’d be a great Mrs. Roper. They’ve got great chemistry, and they’ve worked together for a long time, so it should come pretty easy to them. The Ropers own the building and are constantly butting into the roommates’ business, leading to a LOT of misunderstandings.

Ralph Furley – Jeffrey Tambor

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If you don’t want to go the Roper route, there’s also the possibility of Mr. Furley. Once the Ropers move away, Ralph’s brother, Bart, buys the building and hires Ralph as the building manager. The reboot could take place post-Ropers, so we jump right into Furley. Played by the legendary Don Knotts, there’s not really a modern-day equivalent to him. That’s why I went for stunt casting. You see, most folks know Jeffrey Tambor from Arrested Development or Larry Sanders, but he had quite a career as a character actor before that. Also, he’s basically the Terry Kiser of the Three’s Company universe, as he played at least 3 different characters on the show, as well as starred on the spinoff, The Ropers. Even though Furley was kinda spacey, one of his major character beats is that he thinks he’s God’s gift to women, and I could definitely see Tambor pulling that off. Just look at that grin! Plus, it’s sort of like a bridge between the old brand and the new one. I like continuity like that. Anyway, the Furley character would also be butting into the roommates’ business, but he’d also make the occasional pass at the girls. He also hangs around Larry, hoping to get some of his “surplus”.

Summary

This is a One and Done show. It’s not going to be successful because nobody’s clamoring for it. Hardcore Three’s Company fans would cry, “Why are they rebooting the show?!”, while the casual viewer would also wonder, “Why are they rebooting this show?” It would have a lot of buzz surrounding it because of the nostalgia factor, and it would probably launch to decent numbers, but then decline weekly after that. I don’t see it lasting 8 seasons like its inspiration, nor do I really see it making it to 2 seasons. To me, this would play out exactly like the Knight Rider reboot: on paper, a lot of us think we want it, but in execution, we find out that it was better in our memories. On the plus side, you’ll be able to pick up a neat little package of Three’s Company (2015): The Complete Series at Wal-Mart.

09th May2014

West Week Ever – 5/9/14

by Will

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The week started off with The Simpsons LEGO special. Plainly put, I wasn’t impressed. Seeing as how I’m the only person in America who didn’t see The LEGO Movie, maybe I’m missing something. That movie looked fun, but I just didn’t get around to seeing it. The Simpsons episode, however, was just weird. They made good use of the LEGO, but it was just jarring and the animation seemed stiff. Anyway, I’m tempted to collect those Simpsons LEGO minifigures, but I keep telling myself that I’ve retired from that game. I’ve got about 100 of those things just gathering dust in cases at the moment.

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Later Sunday night, I caught David Spade: My Fake Problems, as Comedy Central wrapped up Stand Up Month. Just as unfunny as Tracy Morgan’s special. What’s up with those former SNL guys? Is stand up just not their thing? I missed the first half hour, but I caught him talking about his hernia operation. I didn’t know what to expect, as I don’t think of Spade as a stand up comedian, but I was hoping to find it more enjoyable than I did.

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The trailer for Gotham was released. Still, I’m not impressed. It looks like a fan film with established actors. Plus, I have no desire to see Gotham pre-Batman. All of Bruce’s training happened away from the city. Even if the show lasts 10 years, we’ll only get to Bruce turning 18. I just don’t see the point when there are other DC properties to mine, like they did with Arrow. Plus, it seems like they’re introducing all of Batman’s colorful rogues prematurely, as they don’t really arise until Batman first shows up in Gotham. For instance, they said that we will see Joker. Why? Based on Batman history, he shouldn’t even be Joker yet because that night at the ACE Chemical Factory will still be years away. Whatever. I just don’t see the value of a show about Batman that doesn’t feature Batman.

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Fox has also announced that Damon Wayans Jr will be a series regular next season on New Girl. I’m happy for him ’cause I like that dude and want him working. Still, it drives home the fact that Happy Endings is never coming back. I feel like a kid who wants his parents to get back together and it just ain’t happening.

 

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Catfish came roaring back this week for its third season, and it did not disappoint. Twitter is an amazing place while that show is on, as everyone becomes an insulting detective. Trust me – it’s a lot more fun than I’m making it sound.

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So, they’ve announced a new Power Rangers movie. In fact, they’re calling it a reimagining of Mighty Morphin, so I guess it’s going back to its roots. I’m not surprised, as something like this was inevitable. The trick was simply waiting til the point where people would care again. They struck at the right time, as every news outlet was covering the news yesterday. I’m gonna reserve judgment until I see a trailer, as there are so many ways that this could go. My problem, though, is that people who have been unabashed about their hatred of the property are still gonna come out of the woodworks, saying “They’re ruining my childhood!” It never fails. I’ve stuck by the franchise for the past 20 years, but I also know how cheap Haim Saban is. This thing is probably gonna be done on the cheap, and the fact that it’s a collaboration with Lionsgate doesn’t put me at ease ’cause they’ll just turn it into an angsty teen romance. So, let’s just wait and see how this plays out.

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Speaking of movies, they just announced that Reg E. Cathey will be Doctor Storm for the Fantastic Four reboot. They made him black, y’all! That was quite the switcheroo, and it makes Kate Mara’s Sue Storm the odd one in the family now. I can’t help but think the studio is just trolling the fandom at this point. And it’s HILARIOUS!

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the Nerd Lunch Podcast, as they discussed TV theme songs. It was a lot of fun, and I realized I’m kinda obsessed with all incarnations of Knight Rider. You can listen to it right here.

 

Links I Loved

The 24 Least Insurable Characters in Television and Movies – UnderScoopFire!

League Post – Would You Rather…? -AEIOU…and Sometimes Why

10 Triumphs and 10 Failures of MOTUC – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

5 RaNdOm AcTiOn FiGuReS – Raging Nerdgasm

In Case You Missed It This Week:

Thrift Justice: YSE – FCBD Edition

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Now 50. Man, I never really thought I’d see that number. Of course, in the UK they’re up to Now 87, but we’re not here to talk about that. The US version of Now That’s What I Call Music debuted in 1998 as a compilation of the hottest singles of the time. CD singles were going away, but full albums also weren’t all that appealing to some folks. They didn’t want the filler songs – they just wanted the hits. That’s where Now came in. The first volume was comprised of songs from Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Janet Jackson, Hanson, Aqua, and more. You can’t get more 1998 than that lineup. With each subsequent release, Now embodied all that was popular on radio at the time. Some volumes are better than others, but that’s really the fault of then-current popular music. There reason I thought I’d never see a 50th volume is because CDs are almost dead – especially the kind like Now. It was a compilation of all the top hits, but why would anyone buy it when they could just cherry pick those songs off iTunes? Once iTunes hit the scene, Now became “The Little Compilation That Could”. Sixteen years later, and it still survives in the face of the Apple juggernaut. I used to love Now until I started making my own CDs, and even then I was using its track listings as guidelines. So, for providing music fans with only the hits, and to commemorate its 50th US release, Now That’s What I Call Music had the West Week Ever.

21st May2013

Best of the West #3: Knight Rider Knight 2000 Voice Car

by Will

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I don’t do these posts much, so you know it’s a special occasion. If you’re new here, then let me explain Best of the West to you: these are pieces of my collection that hold more meaning than the others. These are the “I’d grab if there’s ever a fire” items. This ain’t your average Thrift Justice stuff – these are the top shelf items. OK, now that I’ve got that out of the way, why am I doing this today? Well, it’s really all but the timing of some real life events. Yesterday was the funeral for one of the kids at work. I didn’t know him, but I wanted to feel a part of the community, so I volunteered to sing in the choir for the service. It was really moving, and it was a feeling I hadn’t experienced since glee club days. It got me to thinking how I’d want to be remembered when my time comes. I hope people think I was hilarious. Not just “haha” funny, but “why wasn’t he a comedian?!” funny. I hope they think I was a good person and a good friend. Also, I hope I’m remembered as a caring and magnificent lover, despite my average endowment (at least according to my spam folder…). Anyway, this also got me to thinking about my first funeral experience: my dad’s.

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My father passed away from an aneurysm when I was three. For this reason, I’m always scared of head trauma, and I never make fun of aneurysms. Because I was so young, I wasn’t really privy to the funeral proceedings. In fact, my cousin was tasked with taking me to Toys “R” Us to distract me. While there, I remember getting a radio controlled Knight Rider K.I.T.T. that had a working scanner light. You don’t give an RC car to a three year old! I just kept driving it into walls. It was really cool, but I was always rough with toys, so it didn’t last long. Sure, I kept it, but the electronics surely didn’t work, and the car looked like it did at the end of “Knight of the Juggernaut Part 1”.

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Still, I remember the car always angered me because I couldn’t put a figure inside. I think I eventually even broke the window, like an inner city youth, just so I could stick a G.I. Joe in it. I didn’t realize there was actually a version that did what I needed it to do. No, I had my “distraction” K.I.T.T. so I wouldn’t realize my dad was gone. In fact, it wasn’t until years later that I pieced together what had happened that day. Until then, I always remembered it as “the time all my relatives came to see me”.

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Fast forward to about a year ago. My former employer, Diamond Comic Distributors, was releasing a Previews exclusive Knight Rider K.I.T.T. with lights and sounds, and included a 3.75″ Michael Knight Figure. Of course I was gonna buy it! Even if it was $50, and the Michael Knight looked NOTHING like David Hasselhoff. That reminded me that I already had a nearly 6″ Michael Knight from the 80s, and I never really knew why he was released. Remember that post about my Cousin Oliver and the G.I. Joe mystery? Well, that was also the first and only time I saw Knight Rider toys at retail. With the exception of the Whip Shifter (which I also had), I had completely forgotten there was essentially a full line of toys. So I took to eBay, to learn more about the line, and find out if there were any figures other than Michael. It turns out he’s the only one, and that he came packed in with an electronic K.I.T.T. That had opening doors! What I always wanted had existed all the time! And the vintage K.I.T.T. had dropped in price since the announcement of the newer version, so you could get one for about $100. Why buy a newer copy when I could have the original? So, a few weeks before my wedding, I told Lindsay, “I’m about to drop about $100 on a Knight Rider car, and I just want you to know that.” Thankfully, she knew the importance and was cool with it. It actually arrived just before our honeymoon, but I didn’t really get a chance to look at it until weeks later. At the end of the day, it cost about $80 after shipping, and it had its original box! Oh, and IT WORKS! Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?

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This thing was $26.96 in 1985! That’s, like, $80 in today’s money. NOTE: I am not an economist, nor an expert on inflation

 

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Nowhere on this box does it say “Child’s hand not included”. I demand my white child’s hand!

 

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I wonder if it even had pack-in directions, as the whole shebang is told on the back of the box.

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I love the detail of the stickers inside, but Michael needs to do some dusting!

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I just like pushing it along my carpet, pretending K.I.T.T.’s driving through the desert. Of course, it’d be more effective if the friggin’ white child hand had been in the box!

As you can see from the box, K.I.T.T. says 6 different phrases. I couldn’t really verify them all, ’cause we’re a household with no C batteries; lots of Ds for some reason, though… Anyway, with the voice of someone who’s just roofied you, the car said “Callll mee K.T.T. for shorrrtt.” Supposedly, he also says:

“Engaging Infrared Tracking Scope”

“Scanner Indicates Danger Ahead”

“I Shall Activate The Turbo Boost”

“Your Reflexes Are Slow”

“What Is Our Next Mission?”

Well, the circle is now complete. Like a phoenix, my fallen K.I.T.T. has arisen, with all the qualities I originally wanted. Screw Diamond and their imposter. I now have the real thing! I hope you’ve enjoyed this “shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist”. Anyway, tomorrow’s promised to no one, so try to enjoy today. Thanks for reading, and let me know some of your “holy grails” in the comments!

25th Apr2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All the DVDs

by Will

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Well, I pretty much showed my hand in the title, but this one’s all about DVDs. Back in the days of yore, I was what you might call a “DVD whore”. Hey, that rhymed! Anyway, if it was cheap enough, I’d buy it. I used to tape any and everything off TV, even though I’d never watch it again. I’d probably have done it with discs, had it been easy enough. If I found a movie that I’d seen and kinda liked, or had never seen, I’d buy it if it was under $10. And I’d buy the first season of ANY show. Now, I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch before I die, yet I can bring myself to get rid of them. Don’t have time to watch them, either, ’cause I have 39 hours of Burn Notice on the DVR I need to get through. So, needless to say, I’ve cut back a lot in recent years. Still, with thrift stores, I still find myself succumbing to amazing prizes where DVDs are concerned. So, I’ve added a few more to the collection in recent months, much to my disappointment in myself.

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I’m totally the kind to kiss & tell, but I’d like to think I might have something in common with Colt Seavers. I mean, I’d love to jump my truck over shit, and I’d hire Heather Thomas if given the chance. Anyway, I had to buy this. I love this show, and this was only $4. This was one of the first shows where they did they “Season 1 Part 1” shit, so it’s a nice deal to get the entire first season without having to buy 2 different sets.

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By this point, the “cool kids” had moved over to Fox Kids on Saturday mornings, but NBC ran all the steam out of the Chipmunks franchise. Once the whole pop star angle got tired, they decided to have the Chipmunks doing movie parodies, and the show was retitled Chipmunks Go To The Movies. It didn’t last long, nor was it very memorable, yet I had one episode on VHS – “Batmunk”. I had to get this DVD, as it has “Batmunk”, as well as “Star Wreck: The Absolutely Final Frontier”, and “Funny, We Shrunk The Adults”. I can finally get rid of that VHS tape! Yeah, I still have it, along with 21 tapes of Power Rangers episodes…

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I’ve never  understood why everyone raves over this show. Sure, I watched it, but it was never “destination television” for me. It was simply “the show Fox hasn’t gotten around to canceling yet”. I enjoyed it when it was on, but I’m amazed it has this rabid following now, signing up for Netflix JUST to watch the upcoming season. So, clearly I missed something. I found these for $3 each, so I had to do it. I found Season 1 a few months ago, so now I just need to carve out some time to get through them.

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This is basically “Knight Rider In The Air”, right? Children of the 80s love to reference this show, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it – this or that show that was “Knight Rider on a Motorcycle”. Sorry, but actual Knight Rider was good enough for me. After I did What’s the Scoop on UnderScoopFire’s podcast, I was mocked by the Twitter community for not knowing who “Stringfellow Hawk” was. Anyway, I swear I found these the very next week and figured, “Why not?” I mean, it’s worth is just to see that dude with the blacked-out glasses lens. He’s really on the show, right? Why he thought that was a better look than a regular old eye patch, I do not know.

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Surprising to many, I’ve only seen about 1/3 of Pixar’s output. I like 2D animation, I don’t go to many movies, and when I do go, I don’t want to deal with the squeals of children. At this point, I’ve only seen Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.,The Incredibles, and Up! That’s it. No Finding Nemo, No Wall-E, no Toy Story 3. Nothing. So, when I find cheap Pixar movies, I pick ’em up, even if they’re just investments in my future “Shut The Fuck Up On This Roadtrip, Kids” stockpile. I’m really weirded out by the concept of this movie, though. Who drives the cars? If they’re sentient, were they built, or were they put on this Earth by some kind of Car God? Are Click & Clack: The Tappet Brothers their Car Gods? Are there people in the stands, or are other cars the spectators? So many questions!

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If you’re new here, I like “bad” pop. No, I LOVE it! One of my favorite groups from the past 15 years was S Club 7/S Club from the UK. Over there, they had a weekly TV series, sold out tours, and movies. Here, their show aired on the Fox Family Channel (before ABC bought it), but they were nobodies here, so it didn’t really have any resonance. Well, right before they broke up, they released Seeing Double, a movie about clones or some shit. Their TV series was just as cheesy as The Monkees, so a movie about S Club clones doesn’t seem that farfetched. It’s unbelievably hard to find UK stuff in the US, as half the torrents don’t work, and the streaming sites are being taken down every week. I still haven’t seen The Inbetweeners Movie. Anyway, I think this was $2, so it was worth it to me. Even if it’s horrible, it can’t be as sad as half the group’s recent “comeback” attempts:

They didn’t even lure back any of the hot members! It’s just token black guy, chick who got kicked off Big Brother for calling someone a “Paki”, and the one who pulled a “Geri” a quit before the group broke up. Let’s just say folks weren’t exactly lining up to support them.

Welp, that’s it for this installment. Until next time, continue looking for treasure, but keep your hands off my shit. It’s mine!

12th Apr2013

West Week Ever – 4/12/13

by Will
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Who had the West Week Ever? KEEP READING!

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We took a week off, but we’re back! Why am I saying “we”? I’m the only one here… Anyway, it’s been an interesting week online, to say the least.

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Anyone remember back when The Craft came out, and every white girl you knew decided she wanted to be a witch? This was right before her “Lesbian, For The Attention” phase. I’ve been thinking about college lately, as I’m avoiding committing to my 10 year reunion. One thing I laugh about every time I think about it is the time my friend Ted and I got two girls to kiss. Not just a peck, but full on making out. They were SUCH attention whores, and I was such a douche. Anyway, I said, and I quote, “No one will ever take this away from us!” How sad was it that I considered that to be a high point in life? Now I think about it and just laugh and laugh. At myself.

My pal Jon over at Double Dumbass On You sent me this clip last night:

I have so many issues! First off, this kid’s belly button makes me retch. I’m sorry for any of you guys with outies, but it looks like a tumor or something. I’m also really curious about the cultural distinctions in the video: only the “white bitches” (that’s not derogatory – that’s their music video rank) actually pop their booties near the kid. The black girls keep their distance, probably because he’s their cousin or something. And how hard up for meth do you have to be to perform in such a thing? Take a look at that one chick – sure, she’s poppin’ her cheeks, but it looks like no one told her she’d need waterproof mascara. And what’s with that other chick?! SHE AIN’T GOT NO BOOTY TO POP! Did she win a contest or something? Or was this community service? Was she being held hostage?

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He’s the biggest boss that was fired this week: Rick Ross lost his Reebok deal after rapping about rape. Not sure why you’d have a fat guy promoting your athletic shoe, but whatever. America. So, with this precedent, I bet we’re gonna take a whole bunch of other shit off the shelves and out of the iTunes store, right? RIGHT? Oh, this was just an isolated incident? Even though hip hop’s been saying fucked up shit forever? Oh, OK. I’d get some heat for this if I actually had a sizable black readership, but I’m constantly amazed by the shit Black America gets mad about. No, I’m not justifying rape or rape culture. I just don’t get how hip hop culture chooses its battles. I mean, how does Rick Ross even still have fans to be angry? Everybody makes fun of his weight, everyone makes fun of his titties, everyone makes fun of his dislike for wearing shirts. Hell, everyone mocked him when it came out that he was a fraud and former prison guard. There were MANY chances to get off that train, and folks stayed on. What he said was wrong, but he’s targeted because America’s on High Rape Alert in the media. Once the focus shifts over to gun control, the entire hip hop community better be scared. Oh, They don’t rap about guns and getting shot anymore? Fuck, what is hip hop about these days? Oh, right – they rap about going to Cuba.

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OK, I need some help with this one. I’m not exactly loved in the G.I. Joe circles of the internet, for whatever reason, but I need someone to clear something up for me. You see, my love of G.I. Joe came from my older cousin, Oliver. He lived in New York, and was about 6 years older than me. I eventually inherited his Joe collection once he discovered girls, but I have a very distinct memory that I can’t back up. One year, in the mid 80s (I know it was mid, as this was the ONLY time I’d ever seen Knight Rider toys at retail), his family came down to visit and we all went to Toys “R” Us. He got one of the most recent Joes, as I couldn’t wait for him to open it so that I could play with it. Here’s where it gets weird: I remember him taking something out of the pack, and pop it in his mouth. Originally, I thought it was a backpack, but it was an odd purple color at a time when G.I. Joe hadn’t journeyed too far from actual military colors. I remember going, “Ew, why did you put that in your mouth?!” and he told me that it was candy and began to chomp away. Now, since then, I have noticed many different G.I. Joe pack-ins, from body transfers to standard mail-in pamphlets, but I’ve found no reference of a candy promo. I always thought it was a Bonkers chew, but I can’t any proof of such a pack-in. So, was he just fucking with me OR was there actually a candy pack-in for G.I. Joes back in the 80s? Help me, Internet!

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While I’m help from the Internet, I’ve got another question: do any of you have music in your iTunes that you’ve never heard? Here’s my dilemma: I am a music HOARDER. I’ve forgotten all the stuff I have, but I feel like I have to give everything a “once through” before it gets synced to my iPod. That way, I can weed out tracks I don’t like and save some space. At least, that was the original intent, when I still had a 30 GB iPod. About a year and a half ago, my wife got me the 160 GB iPod where space isn’t an issue. But I’ve never taken it out of the box. Why? Well, I got a new computer during that time, and all my music is scattered across multiple external hard drives. Every time I have an extended break, my plan is to finally get everything on the new iPod, but it never happens. A bigger problem is that my music comes from the back alleys of the internet, so I have to clean up tags and album art; it’s the OCD in me. So, I’ve probably got as many gigs of music I’ve never heard as I have of music that’s already been vetted. So, do I suck it up, throw everything on the iPod and discover the songs that way, or do I continue on my “preview” path, which just prolongs my getting the iPod set up? Anyone else deal with this? Thoughts?

My posts this week have been all over the place, so we can’t go with the usual list format. First off, I threw together the rare Sunday post in order to submit my uber popular submission for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers’ weekly topic. Then, I felt guilty for missing last week’s West Week Ever, so I pseudo made up for it on Monday with The Week That Wasn’t. Then, I brought back Thrift Justice Road Trip to talk about the antique mall that I explored with @LamarRevenger. Finally, I was welcomed to pen a guest post over at The Cold Slither Podcast’s site to commemorate the start of the Masters Golf Tournament. So, be sure to check out all of those links!

Speaking of Lamar, I’d like to congratulate him for his winning prediction in the Cold Slither Podcast’s Slither Madness Tournament! It couldn’t have happened to a greater dude, and he’ll be receiving something from Will’s World of Wonder. Be sure to check out the site yourself, as I’m sure I’ve got something you’d love to add to your collection! Why catch waves or fill yourself with rage when I’ve done the legwork for you?

One set race relations back to House of Buggin’ levels, while one set off the boners of fanboys everywhere. One punked everyone with a tweet, while the other is the world’s most famous Kim Jong-Il impersonator. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever!

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Sorry, America, but it’s my site. I could’ve gone with LL and Brad, but they released a newer song by week’s end. I couldn’t give a shit about Carrie Kelley, and I REALLY don’t care about Morris Chestnut. So, that leaves us with Psy. This week, he released “Gentleman”, which everyone expects to replace Gangnam Style. It won’t, but people can still dream. Apparently, there’s a dance with it, but the video isn’t out yet. Anyway, it’s got a good beat, and the man shouts “Westside!” More appropriately, he correctly shouts it as “West SaYEED!” Get this man a Green Card! You can listen below, but for this, Psy had the West Week Ever

UPDATE: The video has arrived! If only I’d waited 24 hours…

04th Feb2013

Black History Month is Back-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack!

by Will

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Yeah, I’m being lazy. I should’ve spent the last year coming up with 28 more of these to further bolster my “legacy” or what have you. Then again, we got the same black president again, so why not the same Black History Month post? As they say in publishing, this is a good opportunity for me to “mobilize my backlist”. Hey, at least I slaved (oops!) over that beautiful collage up there!

If this is your first February following me, this is all new to you. If not, sit back and enjoy one of my favorite posts to write. You know the drill: there’s one per day, and I try to tweet them out each day. Still, some days I get lazy, so it might help to print out the PDF at the end of this post.

IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH, Y’ALL!!!

1) Today In Black History: Arnold & Willis Jackson became the first poor black kids adopted by a rich white person

2) Today in Black History: Jimmie Walker left his lucrative career in demolitions to become a comedian.

3) Today in Black History, The Eastland School for Girls admitted Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey as its first black student

4) Today in Black History, the Fresh King of Bel Air was assassinated. The throne remained empty until a long lost son was found in 1990.

5) Today in Black History, Kunta Kinte is accepted into the space program, and it only costs him his eyesight.

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“Wasn’t my foot ENOUGH?!”

6) Today in Black History, the black girl became the Yellow Ranger, which was only slightly less offensive.

7) Today in Black History, boxer Cassius Clay was bitten by a radioactive Muslim, transforming him into Muhammad Ali

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“I ain’t no damn bean pie!”

8) Today in Black History, the remains of the fabled “Caribbean Queen” were found in the trunk of Billy Ocean’s car.

9) Today in Black History, Devonté Henson became the first black person to scale the Aggro Crag.

10) Today in Black History, a young Tyler Perry put on his first dress. Years later, he would learn that he could be paid for it.

11) Today in Black History, scientists combined the DNA of Morris Day and a pony. The result was Prince.

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“Purple Rain” was actually his My Little Pony name.

12) Today in Black History, Mr. T pitied his first fool, which is still illegal in most states.

13) Today in Black History, Lt Uhura inspired a generation of black women to work for the phone company.

14) Today in Black History, DeBarge discovered a place where they could dance the whole night away. It was an abandoned T.J. Maxx

15) Today in Black History, the US Government cracked down on music piracy after Rerun snuck that tape recorder into the Doobie Bros concert

16) Today in Black History, the Negro Hockey League was founded. After everyone had a good laugh, the site was converted to a Popeyes.

17) Today in Black History, Magic Johnson opened the first movie theater chain where blacks were encouraged to yell at the screen

18) Today in Black History, George Washington Carver’s lazier brother, Jamal, invented crunchy peanut butter.

19) Today in Black History, Janet Jackson joined the cast of TV’s “Fame”. Critics declared this would be the lowest point for the Jackson family

20) Today in Black History, Dwayne Wayne discovered a parallel universe – a different world, where Marisa Tomei was the only white person.

21) Today in Black History, Frederick, MD was named for Frederick Douglass – known for his love of Walmart and the white women

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22) Today in Black History, Aunt Jemima discovered Uncle Ben’s affair with Mrs Butterworth, thus splitting Black America’s first power couple

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They were the royalty of the black breakfast table!

23) Today in Black History, Acorn Avenue -an all-black version of Sesame Street, debuted featuring NeGrover & Big Turkey. It would only air once

24) Today in Black History, 16 Soul Train dancers were killed in what has come to be known as “The Cabbage Patch Massacre of ‘91”

25) Today in Black History, Autobot Rosa Sparks gained attention when she refused to transform into the back of a bus. (Courtesy of @OAFE)

26) Today in Black History, Jesse Jackson formed the R&B group The Civil Rights. They were dropped from Motown before releasing a single.

27) Today in Black History, with Knight Rider & The A-Team, NBC became the first network to devote a night to shows starring black vehicles

28) Today in Black History, Republican scientists proclaimed “Shucky ducky!” as they successfully completed secret cloning experiment, Operation: Chocolate Cheney.

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“Remember me? Black pizza guy? 999? No? Huh.”

There ya have it – your crash course to TRUE black history! Share it with your friends, leave it on the windshield of your favorite racist, or simply put it up on your refrigerator. And if you hate Black History Month, don’t worry – we only get 28 days, and 4 of those are gone. Have fun with St. Drinky-Drinks Day next month!

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